Appendix: Henry de Colebi of Lincoln

Pages 215-218

Lincoln Wills: Volume 2, 1505-1530. Originally published by British Record Society, London, 1918.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.


In this section


[The Testament of Henry de Colebi of Lincoln (fn. 1) ]

[Muniment Room of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln, D ij, 76/1, no. 15.]

+ In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti Amen. Hoc est testamentum Henrici de Colebi (fn. 2) in Lincolnia. qui licet infirmus corpore bona tamen et sana memoria constitutus nesciens quid ipsum contingere posset humanitus ac (fn. 3) sciens et considerans quia nichil est certius morte nichil incertius hora mortis (fn. 4) et nolens decedere intestatus ipsum condidit in hunc modum. ¶ In primis animam suam Deo et corpus suum ecclesiastice sepulture in cimiterio ecclesie beate Marie de Wikefordia. sue parrochialis et tradi voluit et commendari. et eidem ecclesie pro suo principali meliorem pannum suum dedit et legauit. ¶ Item voluit et precepit ut equi sui. vacca. porci et vtensilia venderentur et inde debita sua acquietarentur. et si quod residuum fuerit solutis debitis. de illa pecunia ; illud reliquit vxori sue et Johanni filio suo. ¶ Item legauit Johanni filio suo vnum ensem meliorem [tr (fn. 5) ] de tribus. ¶ Item Thome Makait vnum ensem de Scocia. ¶ Item Johanni nepoti Rogeri filii Benedicti vnum ensem. ¶ Item legauit Willelmo fratri suo sigillum suum argenteum. ¶ Item legauit Johanni filio suo libros suos omnes excepto libro bucolicorum quem legauit Johanni Bacheler. ¶ Item vxori Johannis Poult de Coleby (fn. 6) vnum tapetum rubeum quod inpignoratur. ¶ Item Matilde Bacheler aliud tapetum rubeum. ¶ Item Juliane tunicam suam de viridi ¶ Item voluit et precepit vt omnes domus sue preter eam quam inhabitat venderentur et inde pro anima sua in quantum extendi poterit quod pro eis capietur secundum disposicionem executorum distribueretur suorum. ¶ Cetera etiam bona mobilia vniuersa et singula que in hac cedula non continentur ; nec cuiquam [sunt (fn. 7) ] legata ; ordinacioni suorum executorum reliquit. ut per eos deum pre oculis habentes pauperibus amicis suis et consanguineis necnon et aliis piis locis quibus fuls[erint (fn. 7) ] opera misericordie karitatiue erogentur. Rogauit atten cius dilectos sibi Willelmum de Coleby fratrem suum Thomam Makait (fn. 8) de Lincolnia. et vxorem suam ipsos executores istius sui testamenti siue vltime voluntatis sue constituens ut officium quod vltimum elogium siue testamentum habere decet affectu quo possent maiori secundum Deum studerent fideliter perimplere. Hiis ad hoc vocatis Johanne de Coleby Matilda de Coleby ut huiusmodi (fn. 9) rei geste si necesse esset testimonium perhiberent. Anno domini. M°. CC°. septuagesimo primo die sabbati proxima ante festum natiuitatis beate Marie fuit istud confectum testamentum. [11 x 4½ inches. Two strips for seals, the lower one having been torn off: below the strips a narrow ribband.]


+ In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. This is the testament of Henry de Colebi in Lincoln, who, though weak in body, was nevertheless of good and sound mind, ignorant of what might befall him after the manner of men, and knowing and considering, that 'nothing is more certain than death, nothing more uncertain than the hour of death,' and being unwilling to die intestate, made it in this manner. First he willed that his soul be delivered and commended to God and his body to burial after the manner of the Church in the churchyard of his parish-church of the blessed Mary of Wykeford. And to the same church for his mortuary he gave and bequeathed his best garment. Also he willed and enjoined that his horses, cow, pigs and utensils should be sold, and his debts be discharged therefrom; and if there should be any residue of that money after the payment of his debts, he left it to his wife and to his son John. Also he bequeathed to his son John one sword, the best of three. Also to Thomas Makait one sword from Scotland. Also to John grandson of Roger son of Benet one sword. Also he bequeathed to his brother William his silver seal. Also he bequeathed to his son John all his books except the book of bucolics, which he bequeathed to John Bacheler. Also to the wife of John Poult of Coleby one red coverlet which is in pawn. Also to Maud Bacheler another red coverlet. Also to Juliana his tunic of green. Also he willed and enjoined that all his houses, except that in which he dwells, should be sold, and that that which shall be received for them, should be distributed for his soul as far as it will extend, according to the disposition of his executors. The rest moreover of all and singular his moveable goods which are not contained in this paper, nor bequeathed to anyone, he left to the disposition of his executors in order that by them, having God before their eyes, they may be expended on his poor friends and kinsmen and also on other religious places which may be distinguished for works of mercy and charity. Most urgently he begged his beloved William de Coleby his brother, and Thomas Makait of Lincoln, and his wife, appointing them executors of this his testament and his last will that they, with the greatest possible goodwill, according to the will of God, might be zealous faithfully to fulfil the observance which a last will or testament ought to have. These being called hereto, John de Coleby and Maud de Coleby, in order that, if need be, they may bear witness. This testament was made in the year of the Lord one thousand, two hundred, and seventy-one, on the Saturday next before the feast of the nativity of the blessed Mary [5 September].

The following charters in the muniment of the Dean and Chapter relate to the property devised in the foregoing will.

[D ij, 76 1, no. 16. A copy is given in the Registrum, folio 143d., no. 1011.]

Let [men] know present and to come that I, John son of Robert le Norreis of Beverley have given, granted and by this my present charter have confirmed to Henry de Coleby, clerk, all that my land with the buildings and all its appurtenances, which was once of Agnes Matfray, my aunt (amite), lying between the land of Richard de Trowell' on the north side and the land of Robert son of William Badde on the south side, in the parish of St. George, Lincoln; to have and to hold of me and my heirs to the aforesaid Henry and his heirs or his assigns, freely, quietly and unencumbered, with all its appurtenances, liberties and easements to the same land belonging. Rendering therefor yearly to me and my heirs one penny at the nativity (fn. 10) of the Lord; and nevertheless rendering therefor to the dean and chapter of the mother church of Lincoln one mark of silver at two terms of the year, to wit half a mark at the feast of St. Michael and half a mark at Easter, for all secular service, custom and exaction and for all demands. And moreover I the aforesaid John and my heirs or my assigns will warrant, acquit and defend the aforesaid land with all its appurtenances, as is aforesaid, to the aforesaid Henry and his heirs or his assigns for the aforesaid services against all men for ever. In support and witness whereof I have to this present charter set my seal. These being witnesses, William de Holgate, then mayor of the city of Lincoln; John de Kirkestede and Gernegan de Neuport, then bailiffs (balliuis) of Lincoln; John de Paris; William Brid' (fn. 11); Martin le Cordewaner; Peter the Tailor (Parmentario); Geoffrey son of Adam de Botewer (fn. 12); Nicholas the Carter (le Caretario); Robert le Gaunt'; Alan Brun; Alexander Clouelec; Hugh the Clerk; and others. Endorsed: Lincoln, in the parish of St. George [13th century].

[Circa 1260–70. 7¾ x 5½ inches. Seal on tag—a fragment, dark green, a shield charged with a bird; . . . . . RAIS DE . . . . . . .]

[Dij, 76/1, no. 14. A copy is given in the Registrum, folios 143d., 144, no. 1013.]

To all the faithful of Christ who shall see or hear the present writing William de Coleby, Thomas Makehayt and Claricia wife of the late Henry de Coleby, the executors of the testament of the same Henry, eternal greeting in the Lord. Let the whole body of you know that we, according to the last will of the said Henry deceased with respect to his houses in the parish of St. George, which were late William Matefrey's, with all their appurtenances, have appointed and have for ever released and quitclaimed them with the whole plot (placea) adjoining, which extends in length from the king's street on the west side to the wall of the lord the king on the east side, with its whole breadth, to the lords Richard the dean and the chapter of the church of Lincoln, for a certain sum of money which they have given to us. So that neither we henceforth in the name of executorship, nor any one hereafter in the name of inheritance, shall at any time be able to assert or demand any right or claim in the aforesaid land. Now in order that we may give them all the security we can in this behalf, we have delivered to the same dean and chapter the aforesaid Henry's charter of feoffment, which he had in respect of the aforesaid land, together with his testament in which he gave us full power to sell the same and to make an appointment concerning it, as in it is more fully contained. And the same dean and chapter have remised to us all the arrears which were due to them in respect of the aforesaid land. In witness whereof and in support of our release and quitclaim we have to this writing set our seals. Witnesses, Sir William de Holgate, then mayor of the city; Matthew Doggenek' and Robert le Tanur, then bailiffs (prepositis) of the same; Osbert son of Giles; Jordan his brother; Thomas son of Robert; James of the Bridge (de Ponte); Hugh de Len; and others. Endorsed: To the dean and chapter [13th century].

[a.d. 1273–4. 6¾ x 4½ inches. Three tags for seals.]


  • 1. An incomplete translation of part of this testament was printed in the previous volume (Lincoln Record Society, v, p. 1). The missing portion has lately been discovered and, in view of the fact that the document is the earliest known instance of a Lincolnshire testament, the text of the original is printed here. There is a registered copy of the testament in the Registrum of the Dean and Chapter (Aj, 1, no. 6, f. 143d., no. 1012).
  • 2. 'Coleby' in the Registrum.
  • 3. The Registrum omits 'ac.'
  • 4. See Introduction, § 1.
  • 5. Cancelled.
  • 6. 'Colleby' in the Registrum.
  • 7. Supplied from the Registrum, there being a hole in the charter.
  • 8. 'Makehait' in the Registrum.
  • 9. 'huius' in the Registrum.
  • 10. The Registrum omits ' at the nativity '.
  • 11. 'Budd' in the Registrum.
  • 12. 'Botewerk' in the Registrum.